[ISN] Huge increase in hackers and pornographers

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Dec 09 2002 - 00:53:01 PST

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    http://www.business.scotsman.com/technology.cfm?id=1364472002
    
    PETER WARREN 
    Sun 8 Dec 2002
    
    BRITISH police are making a special plea to business to report
    computer crime after announcing a huge increase in the activities of
    hackers and Eastern European criminals. Detectives are so concerned
    they are even prepared to waive its mandatory obligation to prosecute
    in return for more information.
    
    Companies which have been victims of cyber crime have traditionally
    been reluctant to talk to police because of the bad publicity a court
    case could arouse.
    
    The move, timed to coincide with this week's three day E-Crime
    Congress, organised by the National High Tech Crime Unit, represents
    an increasing recognition from the police of the damage computer crime
    is wreaking on UK business. According to the DTI's Information
    Security Breaches Survey 2002, computer hacking and virus attacks are
    costing £10bn p.a. and 78% of large-cap companies have experienced
    some kind of electronic attack in the past year. The average cost of a
    security breach is £30,000.
    
    The congress is intended to open a communication channel between the
    police and UK businesses, which have largely dealt with the problem of
    computer crime internally. According to experts, the new initiative by
    the NHTCU, which was only formed 18 months ago, centres on the need to
    encourage the financial services sector to report computer crime
    without fear that it could lead to a collapse in consumer confidence.  
    Banks and finance houses have often preferred to tackle the issue
    internally. The complaint is that the business community has done
    little to help. There is even evidence that some financial
    institutions use head-hunting agencies to remove employees suspected
    of computer misuse rather than get involved in embarrassing
    disciplinary proceedings.
    
    Last year, website Silicon.com, backed by the Computer Software
    Association and the CBI, suggested the creation of an independent
    crime reporting body, to be hosted by the International Chamber of
    Commerce. But many organisations, including the former Defence
    Research Agency and GCHQ, have tried and failed to get companies,
    particularly in the City, to share details of computer crimes .
    
    The depth of complacency is evident from a CBI survey last August,
    which found that nearly 70% of respondents thought a cybercrime attack
    would have negligible financial impact. Loss of trust was seen as a
    bigger threat. Digby Jones, director-general of the CBI, believes
    fears over potential losses and the damage to reputation that internet
    crime can cause is stalling the growth of e-commerce.
    
    The CBI's survey revealed that 45% of cyber crime was caused by
    hackers, 13% by ex-employees, another 13% by organised criminals, and
    11% by current employees. Credit card fraud represented only 4% of the
    most serious incidents.
    
    According to chief superintendent Michael Deats, deputy head of the
    NHTCU, a sudden influx of criminals from the Eastern bloc, coupled
    with local criminals turning to cyber crime, has underlined the
    urgency of stepping up efforts. "There is a very real threat emerging
    and, if we want to tackle it, we have to do it with the collaboration
    and co-operation of business," said Deats. "We need an exchange of
    intelligence on an intelligence-only basis."
    
    The squad's success in exposing paedophiles operating on the internet,
    which has resulted in high-profile prosecutions all over the world,
    has inadvertently revealed the extent of criminal involvement in
    e-crime.
    
    "There appear to be close links between eastern European hackers
    attacking western businesses and internet pornographers. Incredibly,
    hackers used by one pay-per-view paedophile site took over the
    computer system of a major UK company and used it to host the gang's
    website.
    
    "Eastern Europe is a significant threat, and we're seeing a
    disproportionate amount of electronic attacks coming from there,"  
    Deats said.
    
    
    VIRUSES to watch out for:
    
    ILOVEYOU has infected up to 45m computers, causing an estimated £7bn
    worth of damage
    
    Klez.H - Messagelabs has spotted 775,000 copies - thatís 2,700 every
    day
    
    Bugbear is spreading rapidly, particularly in the Asian Pacific.  
    Anti-virus firm Messagelabs has intercepted 130, 000 infected e-mails
    since it appeared in September
    
    The Goner has so far hit 17 countries
    
    Code Red infections has caused an estimated 2.6bn in damage
    
    
    
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